The emergence of betting exchanges like Betfair shook the world of online sports betting like nothing before. For the first time ever, players were able to step into the shoes of bookmakers and wager against one another. In many ways, exchange betting is the truest test of your knowledge of football and football predictions. As such, lay betting is not for beginners or the faint of heart. Still, we’re left with an important question.
How do I win with Lay betting? If there was an easy answer, anyone would be able to do it. Still, there are lay betting strategies that can set you on the right path.
What is Lay Betting?
First, we need to answer a very basic question – what is a betting exchange?
Sites like Betfair are not your typical online sportsbook. Instead, they are sports betting platforms that connect players and allow them to wager against each other. As you might imagine, there are two sides to this. First, one player makes a betting offer – “lays” the bet and offers the odds. Other players then browse these offers and accept the ones they find attractive. This is often called “backing”.
Today, we’re interested in the former – the practice of laying bets or lay betting. The option to set the odds has opened up the door to many new soccer betting strategies. For starters, you can get a better price on exchanges than most regular fixed-odds sportsbooks. That makes laying and backing football bets worthwhile to just about anyone. However, there are specific strategies for lay betting that can help you understand just why exchanges have become so popular among professional punters.
Lay Betting Arbitrage
Here’s a great way to illustrate how to use lay betting to your advantage. If you don’t know what is betting arbitrage, we suggest you familiarize yourself with the concept first. Essentially, it’s the practice of finding guaranteed profits by exploiting different odds for the same wager across multiple sportsbooks.
Here’s a simple example. Imagine that a bookie is offering 2.10 odds on an Over 2.5 Goals bet. Now imagine a different sportsbook is offering 2.10 odds on an Under 2.5 Goals bet for the same match. Although rarely, this sort of thing happens because different bookies calculate probabilities differently. This situation would guarantee a profit for you – no matter the outcome, you’ll win thanks to the odds difference.
However, most top online sportsbooks frown on betting arbitrage and consider it a bannable offense. Betting exchanges don’t, though, because it doesn’t cut into their profits. Simply find opportunities where you can lay the bet at shorter odds than a different fixed-odds bookie is offering. Lay the bet at shorter odds, and wager at the sportsbook with longer ones. If you win the bet with the bookie’s offer, you’ll have a tidy profit because your lay bet lost less than you won. Otherwise, your lay bet wins. If done correctly, you’ll at least prevent any losses.
This doesn’t happen often but is a guaranteed way to profit with lay betting. The best way to do so is by relying on odds drifting. Betting odds change over time, as you probably know. You simply want to be able to accept the sportsbook’s offer before they can update them to fit the odds drift.
Team News and Bet Trading
This brings us to other important lay betting tips – staying informed. Like we mentioned, exchanges put your football knowledge to the test. The strategy we just described relying on you being more informed about odds drift than bookmakers. This is just as difficult as it sounds, so be patient.
Odds drifting usually has some sort of reason for it. For example, if a team’s main playmaker is suddenly injured or unavailable, they’ll have a harder time winning. This affects the odds in many ways – for instance, any odds on To Win bets will be longer. If you react quickly, you can cash out the wager early and collect a profit with no risk at all.
This is just one example of how keeping up with football team news is essential for soccer lay bet strategy.
Laying Draw Bets
We’ll round this lay betting guide with a simple, yet effective and beginner-friendly strategy. It relies on the favorite lay betting market of a lot of bettors – the draw bet. Essentially, this bet means that the one laying will win if the match ends in anything except a draw. Granted, the odds for such markets are quite short. However, keeping up with football matches can allow you to make a tidy profit with not a lot of risk.
Just wait for any team to score the first goal and quickly cash out. The odds will be considerably higher than your initial lay because the chances of the match ending in a draw drop considerably as soon as one team takes the lead. Considering only about 8% of all professional football matches end in 0:0, the chances of a goal are pretty good. By cashing out early, you’re making sure the score won’t equalize down the line.
Laying the Draw can be a great introduction to basic lay betting strategies. If nothing else, you’ll realize why timing and keeping up with news is essential to laying bets.
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